BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Living a century is no easy task, but try telling that to Rose Bellomo, the founder of Feel-Rite Fresh Market.
Rose makes 100 years of age look easy and credits her healthy eating. "You are what you eat," she says. Those words have become the motto to live by for Rose, who seems just as sharp today as she was decades ago, when she was ahead of her time, seeing a need for a natural food store after a trip to California. "We needed a store with vitamins and things to be feeling good," she says. "To eat right, to eat natural foods, you won't get sick. I always ate good, even as a kid, and never had any ailments of any kind."
Rose took a chance and opened Feel-Rite, with her two children Dolores Diliberto and Michael Bellomo in 1971, hoping others would benefit from vitamins and healthy food. Feel-Rite's Katherine Kenwell-Sich says the venture is a success. Sales of organic products in the U.S., both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, up 17.1 percent from 2007 sales, according to the Organic Trade Association. Feel-Rite has a growing customer base and now has five locations across Western New York. "Feel-Rite is a natural and organic full service grocery store with anything you would find at a regular grocery store ," Kenwell-Sich said. "You can come here to Feel-Rite and know that it's natural, organic and good for you." The stores are complete with a nutritionist on staff who can help customers get started for free.
Rose's son still runs Feel-Rite while she and her daughter are retired, but Rose now serves as a walking advertisement, a picture perfect endoresment, for the healthy business she founded. "She's our best advertisement," Kenwell-Sich said. "So healthy at 100."
Asked what her future plans are Rose says, "well, my plans are to keep going." She says she does enjoy bingo and some casino visits in her spare time!